A Cry From the Dust


Unfamiliar with the author, I decided to take a chance and request this book to review. I am so glad I did! Carrie Stuart Parks can definitely write a story to hold my attention.

The plot moved along at nearly breakneck pace with plenty of action, drama, danger, mystery, suspense, and touches of humor. Murder, conspiracy, religious cults, and home grown terrorists populate the pages of “A Cry From the Dust”. Gwen Marcey is a protagonist to love. A forensic artist who usually worked with law enforcement, Gwen’s work in Mountain Meadows reconstructing the faces of three massacre victims, Gwen finds herself smack in the middle of a murder investigation. Although she is a recent cancer survivor who has also had to deal with divorce and a rebellious teen, Gwen refuses to give in.

Parks has deftly woven Mormon history into a modern story of murder and revenge. The page-turning suspense is tempered with a bit of levity from Gwen’s best friend who loves to use unusual words, Gwen’s huge Great Pyrenees, and Gwen’s own wry sense of humor. Unexpected twists and surprises are scattered throughout and the suspense increases with each page.

It looks like I have yet another new author to add to my “Must Read” list. I can’t wait for the next book in this series,  “The Bones Will Speak”.

This book was provided for review by the BookLook Blogger Program of Harper Collins Christian Publishing.


A secret from a grim page of American history threatens to destroy thousands of lives.

Gwen Marcey was tops in her forensic field. Then cancer struck, her husband left, and her teenage daughter engaged in active rebellion. Gwen’s best chance to start a new life was a temporary job in Utah reconstructing faces from an 1857 massacre site.

The Mountain Meadows Interpretative Center asked Gwen to reconstruct the faces of three intact bodies that were discovered from the wagon train massacre of more than 120 people by Mormon fanatics calling themselves Avenging Angels. But just as she is nearing completion on her reconstructions, things around the center turn deadly.

Gwen discovers the ritualized murder of a young college student with a stolen identity and is called on by the local police to use her forensic art skills to aid the investigation. Soon she discovers an uncanny resemblance between one of her reconstructions and the death mask of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church. And realizes that she’s the next target of the recreated Avenging Angels who believe she has an icon from the grave.

Gwen must weave through a labyrinth of Mormon history, discovering secret societies and festering grudges in a race against time.

Will she be able to stop another massacre?


Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. She teaches forensic art courses to law enforcement professionals and is the author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing. Carrie began to write fiction while battling breast cancer and was mentored by New York Times bestselling author Frank Peretti. Now in remission, she continues to encourage other women struggling with cancer.